Review Criteria

Materials submitted for inclusion in the Resource Finder should meet these criteria.

1. Purpose is clearly stated in the title or introduction.
2. Topic matter is well organized.
3. Consumer material is "action-oriented" and/or can be used as part of a behaviorally focused intervention.
4. Information is evidence-based, accurate and consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
5. Training and consumer materials are learner-centered and/or include interactive activities.
6. Materials are appropriate for low-income audiences or the staff that work with such audiences.
7. Materials fall within the scope of the SNAP-Ed Guiding Principles.
8. Subject matter is presented objectively and fairly; no brand name promotion or obvious author/sponsor bias.
9. Includes positive role models in text and illustrations; material is free from stereotypes.

1. Overall, recipes are compatible with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
2. Recipes and menus generally use low-cost, readily available ingredients.
3. Recipes appear accurate and tested and ideally contain yield, serving size and nutrition information.

*For recipes submitted for inclusion in the Recipe Finder, see Recipe Review Criteria

Readability of Consumer Materials
1. Vocabulary is familiar to the target group. Minimal use of jargon, technical and regional terms.
2. Writing is positive, personal and action oriented. Active voice used most of the time.
3. Simple, appropriate, and recognizable illustrations are on the same page as their textual references. Graphics have captions. Tables and graphs include simple directions.
4. Layout and design of the material stimulate interest and readability. Appropriate color contrast between type and paper. Upper and lower case are used most of the time. Paragraphs are not justified.
5. Reading level is below the 6th grade for low-literacy audiences. Generally, materials read at the 8th grade level or below.

Audio Visual Materials
1. Audio and/or visuals are mutually supportive to concept presentations.
2. Includes an instructor's guide with suggestions for enhancing audiovisual presentation pre- and post showing.
3. Pacing of dialogue and timing of presentation allows for learner comprehension.
4. Clear speaker voice, and music; good quality of sound.
5. Visuals are clear and properly framed; graphics and titles are clearly visible; color, lighting, and editing enhance presentation of content.
6. Continuity provides cohesiveness and smooth flow. Visuals in logical order. Auditory portion precisely matched with visual portion.

Web-based materials
1. The site is well maintained with few broken links or minimal outdated information.
2. Text size is adequate for viewing with good contrast between text and background colors.
3. Navigation through the site is logical and aided by navigation buttons and a site map or search tool.
4. Electronic resources are reasonably accessible to target audience.

Disclaimer statement

These review criteria are intended to apply generally to all materials; SNAP-Ed Connection encourages educators to reference any applicable State or Agency-developed review criteria for further guidance when evaluating a resource for potential use.

Inclusion in this database does not imply endorsement of either the material or the author/source by the federal government. Please see Using Resource Finder Materials for more information regarding use of these materials.

Adapted from:

Healthy School Meals Review Criteria

Additional references:

Coleman G, Byrd-Bredbenner C, Baker S, Bowen, E. Best Practices for Extension Curricula Review. Journal of Extension. 2011:49, 2. Available at:

Betterly C, Dobson B. Tools for evaluating written and audiovisual nutrition education materials. Journal of Extension. 2000:38. Available at:

McGee J. Writing and Designing Print Materials for Beneficiaries: A Guide for State Medicaid Agencies. Baltimore, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Care Financing Administration, Center for Medicaid and State Operations; 1999. HFCA Publication Number 10145.

Doak, CC, Doak LG, Root JH. Teaching Patients with Low Literacy Skills. 2nd edition. Philadelphia, PA: J B Lippincott Co.; 1996.

Clear and Simple. Developing Effective Print Materials for Low-Literate Readers. Bethesda, MS: National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health; 1994.

Criteria for the Development and Evaluation of Electronic-Based Nutrition Education for WIC Participants. November 2004 . Available at: